Rich Thompson joined the Office of Community Engagement after serving as the Associate Director in William & Mary’s student unions.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University in Parks & Recreation Management and a master’s degree from Western Illinois University in Student Activities & Student Union Administration. Prior to his tenure at William & Mary, Rich served at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Bridgewater College, and Centenary College in the areas of Student Activities, Campus Recreation, First Year Experience, Club Advisement, and Residence Life. In all of his roles, his passion has always been developing students’ leadership and civic engagement skills.
Rich is a recognized engaged citizen and bicycle advocate not only on William & Mary’s campus but locally, regionally, and at the state level. He serves as William & Mary’s representative on the Historical Triangle Bicycle Advisory Committee, acts as an advisor for the Birthplace of America Trail project, and was one of the initial community advocates for the development of the Virginia Capital Trail. His proudest advocacy accomplishment is supporting William & Mary students bicycle lobbying efforts. Rich helped students develop bicycle infrastructure and education projects on campus and in Williamsburg by connecting them to academic and political leaders and teaching them effective advocacy techniques for their projects. Consequently, both William & Mary and the City of Williamsburg have been awarded Bicycle Friendly status by the League of American Bicyclists, and Rich was awarded the 2011 President’s Award for Service to the Community for his efforts.
Rich actively promotes the values of sustainability, health and wellness, and recreation/destination tourism models on campus and in the local community. More than anything, Rich is motivated by bringing diverse people together with a variety of assets to serve something larger than themselves.